5 real examples of business intelligence in action

Business intelligence (BI) can add value to almost any business process, creating a comprehensive view and empowering teams to analyse their own data to find efficiencies and make better day-to-day decisions.

Digital transformation is now seen as a key strategic initiative and business intelligence tools have evolved to help companies make the most of their data investments. The response is the rise of modern business intelligence platforms that support data access, interactivity, analysis, discovery, sharing and governance. While there are some great books about business intelligence that detail practical applications, this article will show off how some specific, big-name companies leverage modern business intelligence platforms.

Here are 5 real-world examples of business intelligence platforms in action.

1. HelloFresh centralised digital marketing reporting to increase conversions

Company: HelloFresh
Problem: Digital marketing reporting was time-intensive, manual and inefficient.
Solution: For meal kit company HelloFresh, a centralised business intelligence solution saved the marketing analytics team 10-20 working hours per day by automating reporting processes. It also empowered the larger marketing team to craft regional, individualised digital marketing campaigns.

Based on aggregate analyses of customer behaviour, HelloFresh created three buyer personas to guide their efforts. Being able to see and track real-time data means the team can react to customer behaviours and optimise marketing campaigns. As a result, they saw increased conversion rates and improved customer retention.

More reading: Read more examples of marketing departments leveraging business intelligence.

2. REI increased membership rates for co-op retailer

Company: REI
Problem: Difficulty tracking membership metrics with 90 terabytes of data.
Solution: In this example, outdoor retail co-op REI use a business intelligence platform to analyse their co-op membership. Co-op members contribute to REI’s account for more than 90 percent of purchases with the retailer, so it is critical to track metrics like acquisition, retention and reactivation. All of this information equates to over 90 terabytes of data. The ability to parse all of this data means that operations teams can determine whether to invest more in brick-and-mortar retail or digital experiences for their members.

This leads to greater customer satisfaction and positive associations with the brand.
“We’ve seen a complete turnaround in 2017 with new member acquisition,” observed Clinton Fowler, Director of Customer and Advanced Analytics at REI.

The team also uses their BI platform to analyse customer segmentation, which helps inform decisions like shipping methods, member lifecycle management and product category assortments.

More reading: Read about the top 5 retail analytics trends.

3. Coca-Cola Bottling Company maximised operational efficiency

Company: Coca-Cola Bottling Company (CCBC), Coca Cola’s largest independent bottling partner
Problem: Manual reporting processes restricted access to real-time sales and operations data.
Solution: Coca-Cola's business intelligence team handles reporting for all sales and delivery operations at the company. With their BI platform, the team automated manual reporting processes, saving over 260 hours a year – more than six 40-hour working weeks.

Report automation and other enterprise system integrations put customer relationship management (CRM) data back into the hands of sales teams in the field through mobile dashboards that provide timely, actionable information and a distinct competitive advantage.

A self-service BI implementation fosters more effective collaborations between IT and business users that maximise the expertise of participants. Analysts and IT can focus on big-picture strategy and long-term innovations such as enterprise data governance rather than manual research and reporting tasks.

More reading: Check out this white paper on how to kickstart your sales ops analytics journey.

4. Chipotle created a unified view of restaurant operations

Company: Chipotle
Problem: Disparate data sources hindered teams from seeing a unified view of restaurants.
Solution: Chipotle Mexican Grill is an American restaurant chain with more than 2,400 locations worldwide. Chipotle retired their traditional BI solution for a modern, self-service BI platform. This allowed them to create a centralised view of operations so they can track restaurant operational effectiveness at a national scale.

Now that staff have more access to data, the speed of report delivery for strategic projects has tripled from quarterly to monthly and saved thousands of hours. “This was the ticket to take all metrics and understanding to that next level,” explained Zach Sippl, Director of Business Intelligence.

More reading: Read this white paper about the modern approach to business intelligence.

5. Des Moines Public Schools identifies and helps at-risk students

Organisation: Des Moines Public Schools
Problem: Manual Excel reporting meant administrators couldn’t see up-to-date data like attendance, preventing timely intervention.
Solution: Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) used advanced analytics to improve dropout intervention rates and better understand the impact of various teaching methods on individual student outcomes.

The DMPS Research and Data Management team used a multiple linear regression model – nicknamed the dropout coefficient – to weigh student indicators to predict which students might be at risk of dropping out of school. They used a business intelligence platform to leverage the model. Data visualisation made it easy for staff to identify individual, at-risk students and get those students the attention they need.

Dashboards set up by the Research and Data Management Team delivered real-time analytics to 7,000 DMPS teachers and staff so they could adapt and intervene sooner, dramatically improving the intervention success rates. The real-time analytics were supported by five years of historical data. This meant that staff could dig into historical data on the spot to validate insights on current students.

Check out more Tableau Customer Stories to learn how business intelligence can help your business.